Today’s Bible readings can be found here: Proverbs 9:1-9 and Luke 22:47-62.
Proverbs 9:7-8 Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse. Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you. (NIV)
We live in a dark age where brazen people publicly mock others and unabashed folks hurl abuse at anyone who crosses them. It’s been going on for a long time, but in recent years the emergence of social media like Facebook and Twitter has spawned massive amounts of intolerance, ignorance, and hatred on a scale that we’ve never seen before. Millions of people are being misled into thinking that to be strong and successful, they have to be strident and forceful. They follow the shameless example of their heroes, celebrities, sports stars, and leaders. Sadly, even faithful Christians and good church folks fall under the influence of such charmers, charlatans, and dubious characters. Instead of filtering our ideas and beliefs through Christ, we end up allying ourselves to false ideals and idolize the loudest insulters in our society.
As Christians, we are called to follow Christ and embrace His wisdom in our lives. If we are no different – which is what the word ‘holy’ means – from the rest of the world, then we have failed to be true disciples. If we jeer at our opposites and cheer when our ‘heroes’ kick them as they’re down, then we’ve forgotten who Jesus is and what He fully expects of us. His teachings of ‘turning the other cheek’ and ‘loving our enemies’ are not pious metaphors; they are spiritual commandments which are meant to differentiate us from manipulators and mobs, fearmongers and falsehoods.
In today’s highlighted verse from the Book of Proverbs, we are given great guidance and wisdom which we can actually embrace and practice in our lives. If we hate being criticized for mocking others then we are the saddest fools in Christendom; however, if we humbly receive godly rebukes, then we display spiritual maturity and great wisdom, making us effective witnesses to Christ’s forgiveness, grace, and love.
Point to ponder: Am I guilty of following celebrities and crowds instead of Christ? Am I willing to receive His critical teaching and apply His gracious ways to others?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, forgive our arrogance, especially when it blocks or blinds us to Your merciful ways and loving teaching. Rid us of our self-deceit and open our eyes to Your understanding. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.
Today’s image is one of John’s new Holy Week drawings. If you would like to view a larger version, please click this link: HolyWeek.